Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Malevolent and Stupid Question

This morning, a student approached me with a most malevolent question:

"Professor Kurgman, you always say that taxes should be higher. But what is stopping you from contributing extra taxes on your own, beyond what the IRS requires?"
I thought about this question, and referred this student to academic discipline for committing a hate crime against me.

Yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question, and this is one of them.

And there are many responses:

1. My extra contributions would only feed the Republican War Machine, and I refuse to cooperate.

2. My extra contributions, in the bigger scheme of things, are too negligible to matter.

3. I have no need to further illustrate my virtue; it is the rest of the populace that needs the
therapeutic effects of additional taxes to understand our struggle.

4. This is the ultimate example of the "Tragedy of The Commons" where private greed can only be defeated by demanding collective action of higher tax payments.

5. Such questions are clearly planted by the CIA to further oppress the cause of working people.

Listen: I will not respond to vicious personal attacks, as they are not only irrelevant, but are also insensitive and hurtful. And my lawyer will tell you as much.

1 comment:

TDK said...

I look at it this way.

If we lived in a fair world then everyone would get paid the same. Since communism has been theoretically demonstrated to be less wasteful and more efficient than capitalism, the average wage per person would rise dramatically. Let's assume just a 100 fold increase so no one accuses us of overestimating. Taxes would rise to a modest 99.5%, but we would get that back in shared services like health care, food, accommodation, travel, clothes and so on, so it's not like a real tax. The bit we keep can be labelled allowance money for convenience.

Now obviously we don't work in a perfect society. We should pay more taxes, no argument, but since we are forced to live in an inefficient society, we can honestly set aside some of our taxes to compensate us for the state's human rights violations such as not giving us shared services like health care, food, accommodation, travel, clothes and so on. You should also set aside money that you are currently force to spend on campaigning for a fairer society like attending demos, printing leaflets and so on.

Some like you and me work for virtuous non-profit organisations. Since we don't make a profit we are not stealing the surplus value of other's work. Many in society do make a profit. That profit is stolen from workers and should by rights be the property of the community. The community includes you and me. Ergo, anyone who makes a profit steals from you and me. So you should withhold taxes to compensate for the profits of capitalism.

So all in all, we already pay far too much tax unlike those other bastards.

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